The Ultimate Nail Salon Supplies Checklist

The Ultimate Nail Salon Supplies Checklist

If you’re opening a new nail salon or if it’s time to upgrade your current salon’s tools, there are definitely a lot of items to consider when figuring out what you need. This is the ultimate list of what you need when it comes to the supplies every salon owner must have on hand, and it is also the list to check off in order to have the ultimate nail salon! 

Nail Prep Tools

Prepping the nail before getting all fancy with polish and sparkles is the most important part. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your nail design is if it’s done on a poorly shaped and badly prepared nail. Make sure the following tools are on your list: 

  • Nail Files: You’ll want to have an array of nail files with different grits to choose from.

  • Electric Nail File: When it comes time to remove a client's old set of acrylics or their previous gel manicure, your electric nail file will be a lifesaver. 

  • Nail Dust Collector: A small machine that sucks up all the nail dust is crucial if you want to have a clean, sanitary nail salon. 

  • Nail Buffer Block: Buffing the nails will flatten any bumps, dents, or ridges in the nail and make for a smoother, more flawless polish application. A nail buffer block comes with four sides to file, buff, polish, and shine the nails. 

  • Nail Clipper: Nail clippers are a necessity when it comes to taking care of nails. You could use an electric file for this, but if you have to take a lot of length off, clippers will work fine.  

  • Nail Polish Remover: Removing the remnants of your client’s last manicure is usually the first step once they sit down at your manicure table. 100% acetone works the best!

Cuticle Care

You can’t give your client a proper manicure without tending to their cuticles. How you care for their cuticles is the difference between a good manicure and a great one. 

  • Manicure Bowl: Be sure to have a bowl nearby when your client needs to soak their nails. Soaking is often done to soften the cuticles before cuticle care or to remove old gel polish or shellac. 

  • Cuticle Pusher: It’s definitely necessary to push the cuticles back and clear any skin off the nail plate as part of the nail preparation process. A cuticle pusher will reach that skin that a nail buffer can’t target.

  • Cuticle Exfoliator: Just like any exfoliator, exfoliating your cuticles helps to soften and remove dead skin. 

  • Cuticle Oil: In addition to using a cuticle exfoliator prior to pushing back the cuticles to soften them, cuticle oil also works well to push them back. 

  • Cuticle Nippers: If there’s a lot of extra skin surrounding the cuticle that’s dry and dead, you’ll need the nippers to remove it. Be careful with these because overdoing it can cause bleeding and possible infection. 

Nail Extensions

Acrylic nail extensions are a service all nail salons should offer their clients. To be able to provide this service, you’ll need to be prepared by stocking up on all the necessary tools. 

  • Nail Glue: You’ll need this when placing nail enhancement tips. 

  • Acrylic Nail Tips: Purchase a large set from a nail salon supplier so you’ll have all the sizes from small nail beds to larger ones. 

  • Acrylic Dip Powder
  • Acrylic Brushes: A great acrylic brush will make your job so much easier. 

  • Liquid acrylic 

  • Nail Dehydrator: Removes the oils on the natural nail, allowing a more secure bond when applying acrylics, gels, and nail tips. 

  • Dappen Dish: You’ll need a glass dish, bowl, or cup to dip the acrylic brush into before picking up a bead of acrylic powder. 


A pedicure is a super luxurious experience. As a nail specialist, you’ve got to do them right. Here’s all you need to give your client the pedicure they’re sure to keep coming back for. 

  • Toe Separators: Load up on toe separators. They will keep the toes separated when it's time to paint the toenails and keep them from smudging as they dry. 

  • Foot File: Many people come in for pedicures because they want to remove dead skin. A foot file is a tool that does the trick. Similar to a nail file, they are available in different grits.

  • Lotion: The foot massage during the pedicure is probably just as important as how you paint the nails. Get a silky and beautiful-smelling lotion for a great experience. 

  • Towelettes: A warm towel on your feet and legs following the massage is a blissful moment during every pedicure. 

  • Pedicure Chair with Foot Bath: Obviously, you’ll need somewhere for your client to sit back and relax, and somewhere comfortable for them to put their feet in to soak in the footbath. 

Nail Polish

It’s important to have a wide variety of nail polish to choose from. Those Pinterest pictures your clients will most definitely bring in won’t be a challenge at all when you have nudes in every shade and pinks ranging from soft to neon.  


The gel manicure is a better way to give your client a manicure that is going to be much longer-lasting than a regular polish manicure. As a matter of fact, basic polish manicures are kind of a thing of the past. To provide this service, make sure you have these items checked off your list: 

  • UV/LED Light Lamp: If you want to use gel polish, you’ll need a light to cure the gel. 
  • Base Coat: The gel base coat will help the gel’s adhesion to the nail 
  • Top Coat: The topcoat will make the nail polish have a high sheen or a matte finish, depending on the type of look your client wants. 

Nail Art

Intricate nail designs are all the rage right now. From retro swirls to a crystal-covered accent nail, there’s a lot to choose from. Invest in some of these items so you can provide your client with exactly what they want. 

  • Nail Art Brush: A thin bristled brush is an absolute must. 
  • Nail Glue: You’ll need a good quality nail glue to stick on any gems or crystals 
  • Glitter: Having a good line-up of loose glitter for your client to choose from shows how versatile your salon is. 


A great nail salon doesn’t just do a good job painting and caring for nails. What goes on behind the scenes also matters in a big way. If the salon and tools are not properly cleaned or maintained, you can accidentally subject your clients to foot fungus, viruses, and bacteria. 

  • Sanitizing Solution: Liquid disinfectant is the most effective way to clean and sanitize your nail equipment. The tools should soak for at least 30 minutes, so it’s important to have your salon stocked with multiple tools. 

  • Hand Sanitizer or Hand Soap: It’s imperative for your nail techs to wash and disinfect their hands between clients. 

  • Foot Bath Liner: If you can’t commit to disinfecting the pedicure foot bath after each client, you can purchase liners that are easily changed and tossed out. 

  • Smocks: Your nail techs will thank you for providing them with a smock so they don’t ruin any of their clothes. It also keeps things looking tidy and uniform. 

In Conclusion

Opening up a nail salon or doing a salon equipment overhaul can be a bit overwhelming. Use this checklist to open up your doors with the confidence that you’ll be able to provide a stellar experience for any client that walks in. You’ll be able to accommodate whatever request or nail desires they have. 

This list has all the nail tools every nail technician should have for a successful business and client experience. Don’t forget to check out Valentine Beauty Pure for all of your salon supplies needs!


  1. How to Use Cuticle Remover | Byrdie 
  2. Make Sure Your Mani/Pedi is Safe - How to Not Get Infection at the Nail Salon | Elle 
  3. 25 Glitter Nail Designs So Good You'll Want Them All | Byrdie